Very nice collection of links in this APOD. One complaint: the "planets orbiting other stars" link shows a very detailed 3D model of Proxima-B which is pure fantasy, and that fact is only revealed after clicking the link to the model - https://exoplanets.nasa.gov/resources/2 ... -3d-model/
- and scrolling all the way down to notice that the credit is given to "NASA Visualization Technology Applications and Development (VTAD)", though I suppose even that might not be quite enough to reveal the trick to some.
Also, it's a shame Sagan didn't chose "Pale Blue Mote" instead of "Pale Blue Dot". 'Mote' is so much more evocative and descriptive a word than 'Dot'! At least to me. And as an added bonus, it has four letters, ends in the letter 'e' and also has two vowels, all just like the other two words!
"small particle, as of dust visible in a ray of sunlight," Old English mot, of unknown origin; perhaps related to Dutch mot "dust from turf, sawdust, grit," Norwegian mutt "speck, mote, splinter, chip." Hence, anything very small. Many references are to Matthew vii.3.
Well, ok, 'dot' has an interesting etymology too I suppose:
"point or minute spot on a surface," Old English dott, once, "speck, head of a boil," perhaps related to Norwegian dot "lump, small knot," Dutch dot "knot, small bunch, wisp," Old High German tutta "nipple;" a word of uncertain etymology.
Known from a single source c. 1000; the word reappeared with modern meaning "mark" c. 1530; not common until 18c. Perhaps this is a different word imitative of "the mark of a mere touch with the pen" (Wedgwood). In music, the meaning "point indicating a note is to be lengthened by half" is by 1806. Morse telegraph sense is from 1838. On the dot "punctual" is 1909, in reference to a clock dial face. Dot-matrix in printing and screen display is attested by 1975.
PS - Happy New Year to all! And "Keep Looking Up" as Jack Horkheimer
, the "Star Hustler" would say!